Voyage to Kythera

Kythera

Situated between Crete and the Peloponnese, where East meets West in the Mediterranean, is the island of Kythera. Subject of a song, and an award winning film by director Theodoros (Theo) Angelopoulos from the 1984 Cannes Film Festival (1984), this island has been the inspiration of well-known artists such as Rococo painter Jean-Antoine Watteau, who painted the Embarkation for Kythera, also known as Voyage to Kythera. He liked it so much that he painted a second version, entitled Pilgrimage to the Isle of Kythera. Poet Charles Baudelaire memorialized the island in his A Voyage to Kythera.

Kythera is a place full of unforgettable images- shifts­­ in landscapes delight the eyes and help you relax from the daily stresses of live, the island offers a visual feast of green mountain slopes, gorges, valleys which empty out at the sea, streams and cataracts, golden sand beaches, picturesque villages, Venetian and British castles, unusual and interesting architecture.

You can start at Chora, the administrative capital of the island with its alleys, mansions, the residences of the old nobility, and a magnificent Venetian-era castle.

There are a number of other fortifications from various eras in the islands’ history, including the Castle of Kato Chora Mylopotamou where one can still see the emblem of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, the Coat of Arms with the Lion of Saint Mark, decorating its walls and gates.

Then there’s the Castle of Avlemonas, also work of the Venetian period, the Fortress of Paleochora, the island's Byzantine capital. A place of refuge from pirate raids, the city of Paleochora was reduced in 1537 by the infamous Hayreddin Barbarossa (Red Beard), Admiral of the Ottoman fleet. According to legend, the voices of women at the time of the slaughter can still be heard on certain nights .

Other points of interest include the cave of St. Sophia Mylopotamou with its colorful variety of stalagmites and stalactites in shades of red, white, and black, the lighthouse of Moudari at Cape Spathi, one of the biggest lighthouses in Greece, and the English-built school of Milapidea with its large gothic windows, built on a hill between Fatsadika and Livadi.

The island is full of churches and the monasteries, among which are the Monastery of St. Mary the Myrtidiotissa. The icon of Jesus' mother, patron saint of Kythera, is the most valuable asset of the island and pole of attraction for many visitors.

What can one say about the awesome beaches of Kythera?

Big, organized beaches, small isolated bays with red sand or pebbles, each one offering difference experience. Try as many as possible:

- Diakofti with blue-green sea and snow-white sand.

- Kaladi, the small bay-beach of Melidoni.

- Chalkos, a beach with pebbles and light blue waters.

- Fyri Ammos at Kalamos, with its red sand and pebbles.

- The beach of Palaiopolis, the biggest one on the island.

and many others, able to satisfy everybody.

For the lovers of hiking, beautiful routes and unique landscapes are on offer, with gorges, cataracts, natural lakes and hidden churches waiting for you.

Kythera has now come closer to those living in the region of Macedonia, as Mouzenidis Travel offers 4, 5, and 8-day air holiday packages for Kythera with Ellinair, the air company of the Mouzenidis Group which links the island with Thessaloniki through direct flights.